Nineteenth century British surgeon Robert Liston “operated so fast that he once accidentally amputated an assistant’s fingers along with a patient’s leg, according to Hollingham. The patient and the assistant both died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known procedure with a 300% mortality.”
Surgery has come a long way over the last two hundred years. From amputations without anesthesia to today’s common robotic procedures, the exponential advancement of this field is certainly inspirational.
Renowned medical writer Atul Gawande celebrates surgery’s bicentennial anniversary with his recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine.